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Neighbors Link Stamford, NCC To Train Immigrants For Health-Care Jobs

Deysy Pelaez, clinical coordinator of the Respiratory Care Program at NCC; Kristina Testa-Buzzee, interim associate dean of Extended Studies at NCC; and Anka Badurina, Skills Development Program director at Neighbors Link Stamford.
Deysy Pelaez, clinical coordinator of the Respiratory Care Program at NCC; Kristina Testa-Buzzee, interim associate dean of Extended Studies at NCC; and Anka Badurina, Skills Development Program director at Neighbors Link Stamford. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Neighbors Link Stamford and Norwalk Community College (NCC) have signed an agreement to provide instruction aimed at preparing immigrants for employment in the field of home health care.

Currently, there are not enough American-born workers entering the field to meet the needs of a growing population of elders that has made the home health-care industry the fastest-growing employment sector of the American economy. Projections estimate a need for nearly 60,000 health-care positions in Connecticut by 2022.

“Partnering with Neighbors Link Stamford is an exciting opportunity for NCC to broaden its reach among prospective immigrant students,” said Dr. David L. Levinson, president, NCC. “We look forward to providing a robust educational experience for students looking to become home health professionals, and to the economic benefits our region will experience as a result.”

While immigrants comprise one-quarter of the home-care workforce nationwide, there has previously been no local program providing training to this particular segment.

Vocational English as a second language instruction is one of several courses that will be provided at the Neighbors Link Stamford (NLS) community center in Stamford. Each course takes into consideration the specific characteristics and challenges of its student population. Applied skills classes, including CPR, AED, first aid and those tailored to specific jobs within the home health industry such as home-care companion and home health aide, will be taught at NCC’s laboratory classrooms at their Norwalk campus.

“Working alongside NCC with the support of the Ohnell Charitable Lead Trust brings our job skills development program to the next level,” said Catalina Horak, executive director of NLS. “This partnership sets immigrant students on a career pathway that provides a steady, dependable source of income that enables them to provide for themselves and their families.”

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